There are some challenges in taking youngsters fishing. One of the first is where to go. It should be a place where they have a reasonable chance of success, where they won’t get their line hung up too often and it shouldn’t be too far from home.
Both you and your kids can be certain to have a good time. Just be sure not to take it too seriously. Realize that while youngsters like to catch fish, they also like to play, throw rocks and get wet.
What You Need to Know
Kids under 12 years of age fish for free, while those 12 to 15 need a junior fishing license, and those over 16 need to have a regular fishing license. Both types of licenses need a parent or legal guardian signature at the time of purchase.
Fishermen 12 years of age and older will also have to possess a trout stamp in addition to their license.
Where to Fish with Your Kids in Nevada:
Reno/Sparks/Washoe Valley area
Lakeside Drive, Reno
Off Oddie Blvd, Sparks
Sparks Marina Pond
East of the Western Village Casino, Sparks
Galena Creek Park at the base of Mount Rose off of Highway 431.
One mile south of Bower's Mansion. Take Old Washoe Valley Road and turn east on William Brent Street.
Davis Creek Ponds
Davis Creek Park in Washoe Valley, off the road to Bower’s Mansion
Rancho San Rafael Park Pond
North end of Sierra Street in Reno, close to the University of Nevada. This water is usually stocked only once during the year; the week prior to free fishing day which is the second Saturday in June.
These waters (with the exception of Rancho San Rafael) are stocked regularly throughout the spring and provide young people an opportunity to catch a couple of 9-inch rainbow trout.
Southern Nevada Area
Boulder City Pond
Veterans Memorial Park, off of Buchanan next to airport
Hafen Lane Park Pond
Off of Hafen Lane near river
South of Laughlin off of Hwy 40
Big Bend State Park
South of Laughlin Lagoon off of Hwy 40
Off of Hwy 6, north of town
Less than a half hour drive from town, Dorsey is a small reservoir (20 surface acres) and best fished late spring and early summer. By the end of June fishing slows down until October. It meets almost all of the criteria for kids: plenty of shoreline, very little weed growth, good success rate (1 fish per hour average) and close to town. PowerBait, worms or small spinners work best.
Early spring fishing can be difficult. Even though the road may be open ice can linger some years. However, once it warms up, this is a great place to camp and take the kids fishing, which is why the Angel Lake Kids' Fishing Derby is held here. This year's fishing derby will be held on July 18. While there are carryover fish, NDOW will stock it with almost 7,000 tiger and rainbow trout between June and September. Early in the year, fishing from the dam provides the best access, though the water can be deep and kids must be supervised.
Once the melt comes off, probably in July, the ponds in the meadows at the upper end of the creek offer great fishing and recreation. The brush can be thick, so parents may need to help smaller kids, but with a catch rate of almost four brook trout per hour, kids should see plenty of action. Worms and flies work best here. The brookies are small averaging just 6 inches, but unlike adults, kids don’t care as long as they are catching fish.
This water is a little more than an hour and a half drive from Elko, but fishing conditions here are good for kids. The catch rate here is roughly one fish per hour and there is relatively easy access on the east side along the dam as well as on the north shore. Worms, PowerBait, salmon eggs and spinners work well.
Approximately 80 miles northwest of Elko, Wilson is almost a 2 hour drive, but both the fishing and the shore access is fairly good. There is camping and fishing for both trout and bass. Favorite baits include worms, PowerBait, spinners and minnow type lures. If bait fishing with kids, try using worms and if the bass are biting, there will be plenty of action.
If your kids are up for a hike, both lakes provide some pretty good fishing. Island tends to have better fishing, but shore access is more limited.
With the high flows right now, fishing the Humboldt isn't recommended. However, once it settles down, many locals will fish it for carp, catfish and bass. The big advantage is that it is close.
Before venturing to these waters, feel free to call the Elko NDOW office at (775) 777-2300 for more information on directions, water or fishing conditions to help you plan your trip.